Harare – South Africa’s Steven Odendaal is having the ride of his life after becoming a motorcycle World Champion.
The 28-year-old rider was crowned the world’s best at the Pirelli Aragon Round in Spain, in the process becoming the first African to win the World SuperSport Race Championship last weekend.
The Johannesburg-born rider re-entered the World SuperSport Race Championship last year with the target of clinching the title in 2021. He missed out on the championship last year by finishing fifth overall.
“I’ve been working towards this moment for a long time. The team was excellent the whole weekend. We experienced some difficult conditions during this race because of the temperature,” said Odendaal.
Remarkably, Odendaal’s victory came a month after he dislocated his shoulder in a high-speed crash at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain, but he showed great character to bounce back to power to victory.
Odendaal started his professional racing career in 2007, a year in which he finished fourth overall in the South African 125cc Championship. He moved up to the 600cc class and made his Moto2 World Championship debut in 2011.
In 2013 joined the World Stage with AGR Team riding a Speed U, but it proved to be a difficult campaign for the South African rider and he returned to the European Moto2 Championship in 2014, also competing in the South African Super 600 Championship.
Odendaal claimed titles in 2014 and 2015 in the South African Super 600 Championship, and one year later the South African rider was to have his breakthrough season when he became the European Moto2 Champion with six wins and three podiums.
In 2020 he returned to the SuperSport World Championship.